Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 12:39 UK

Beat-era artist Bruce Conner dies

Bruce Conner
Conner was very particular about how his art was shown, his wife said

Avant-garde film-maker and artist Bruce Conner has died at his home in San Francisco at the age of 74.

He was one of the last surviving artists associated with the US city's Beat generation during the 1950s.

His 1958 experimental film A Movie, in which he set snippets of so-called "B-movies" to music, is widely cited as a precursor of music videos.

Conner is survived by his wife, Jean, and their son Robert. He died of natural causes on Monday.

Throughout his career Conner collaborated with many visual artists and musicians including David Byrne, Jay DeFeo, Wallace Berman and Brian Eno.

His collages were made from old stockings, photographs, broken dolls and other discarded items.

They were viewed as a social criticism of American consumer society, and gained international attention.

'Did own thing'

Later in the 1960s he became active in San Francisco's counterculture and collaborated on light shows during psychedelic concerts at the famous Avalon Ballroom.

His New York based art-dealer Susan Inglett said he was "one of those artists who worked without regard to what the current climate was".

"He did his own thing and benefited from it in the long run and was admired for it," she added.

The artist was also very particular about how his art was displayed.

"He planned the layout and lighting," his wife Jean said. "He was very annoying to the museum people who had to work with him - but he was always right."

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